Review by Nōn Wels: Check out his writing/political/philosophy blog, A Thousand Screaming Rabbits.
It’s not often I find myself so enamored, so transfixed by two books back to back. First, The Marbury Lens, which utterly floored me (read the review). Second, after reading The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, I came to realize just how much I adore dystopian fiction. I like the idea of looking into a future that came about as a result of certain social, economical, religious, political and/or governmental action.
With that said, I couldn’t have prepared myself for the first sentence: “The first thing you find out when your dog learns to talk is that dogs don’t got nothing much to say.”
In Prentisstown, everyone can hear what you’re thinking. The thoughts are aptly called “noise.” There are also no women in the town, which, in addition to the noise, is a result of some unknown virus. When the story opens, the protagonist, the twelve-year-old Todd Hewitt, discovers a place where the noise doesn’t exist – a sort of patch in the air in which all is silent, and the noise is nonexistent. Unfortunately for Todd, the peace doesn’t last.
With the oppressive elders from Prentisstown, including the maniacal religious leader Aaron, at their heels, Todd, along with Viola, the young girl (yes, girl; and the first female he’s ever met) and his dog Manchee, flee for safety and survival. Over the next few hundred pages, Patrick Ness sets up a story that is both fast-paced and cognizant and indicative of its dystopian intentions: themes of privacy, gender politics and religious fundamentalism run throughout.
In addition to its fascinating story, the author writes in such a language that speaks to a post-apocalyptic, post-brick and mortar education colloquialism that is both rough and endearing.
I truly enjoyed this story, and I would recommend it to just about anyone. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series.
**The Ask and The Answer: Book Two and Monsters of Men: Book Three are already available at your local independent bookstore!!
Age Group: 14 and up (Contains some bad language and sex is mentioned – 14 is really just a guess so you be the judge)
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
Themes: Science Fiction, dystopian,
CommonSenseMedia.org – This tells you in detail what is in the book that “might” be questionable. Kind of interesting tool. But if you are really worried about stuff then just read the book!